8 Personal Safety Mistakes You’re Making Right Now

Growing up in the suburbs of Atlanta, I wasn’t really surrounded by a lot of danger. My parents sent us outside during the day and told us not to come home until it was dark. I rode my bike or walked to school without fear of anything happening. It wasn’t until I started driving that I was really aware of how important personal safety is.

I was at a grocery store with a friend late at night when two large men started following us around. I was in my cheerleading uniform, and they started saying really gross things to me. My friend and I were extremely uncomfortable and felt unsafe walking to my car that late because these guys were literally stalking us in the store. I asked the manager on duty to walk us to my car to ensure we were safe, and we went on our merry way.

When I moved to New York, I also knew I was outside of my comfort zone. I’m not saying New York is a crazy-dangerous place, but I am a young woman living in an unfamiliar setting with millions and millions of strangers. To assume that I’m safe late at night by myself and not be aware of my surroundings would be stupid.

A new app called Kitestring just came out to help ensure safety. There are a bunch of safety apps out there that contact your emergency contacts if you’re in danger. However, Kitestring does it without you having to do anything. You tell it that you’re walking home alone and give an estimated time of how long it should take you. It texts you to see if you made it, and if you don’t respond it calls your emergency contacts. The idea behind this is great, but I feel a bit torn on relying on an app to be safe.

I hate this idea that women are held accountable if something bad happens to them. Like if you’re walking home and something happens to you, it’s your fault because you didn’t use an app? Because you weren’t wearing your anti-rape underwear? That isn’t fair and it’s a large reason why rape culture still exists. There is a massive difference between being vigilant or aware and being responsible. That said, knowing how to ensure your personal safety is important and here are some mistakes you might be making:

What do you think about the app? What other personal safety tips do you have? Tell us in the comments!

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Posted in: Your Life
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  • Jess

    It may seem like common sense but do not listen to your headphones when you’re walking alone in a deserted place or at night.

  • M

    About talking on the phone, sometimes it is better to have someone listening so if someone does attack you, at least one person will know right away. Just be extra aware of the people around you though

  • Chelsea

    These are actually some really good tips. Especially that walking with confidence part.

  • chloe

    Another trick if you are walking home late at night and think you might be being followed is if there are people anywhere around you, join up with them, pretend you know them, and just discreetly tell them the truth. This happened to my mother when she was living down town when she was a twenty something year old. She was walking home alone late one night, and noticed someone was always behind her. She felt that she was being followed, and so when she saw a couple of people up ahead, she joined up with them pretending to know them. She whispered to them that she felt she was being followed and asked tat they please just play along until the guy stops following her. It worked. No predator wants to attack two or more people. If you can’t find other people on the sidewalk, go into the first bar or store you see, just immerse yourself in a place that has lots of people, but where you still feel safe. Hope this helps 🙂

    • Claire

      OMG this is genius thank you soo much! Actually such a good idea…

  • Janice

    Walking confidently can definitely make a difference should you ever find yourself in a situation that is out of your comfort zone. You’re far more likely to be attacked by keeping a bad posture or looking paranoic. On the other hand, if you look confident, a criminal will probably think you have some way to defend yourself (whether it’s martial arts or pepper spray). It may not be true, of course, but by looking confident you automatically become less vulnerable.